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Paph. sanderanium question

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NYEric

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I'm curious as to why it's so hard to find full grown sanderanium around [which is why plants command such a high price]. I have seen many large-sized sanderanium hybrids and have one at home so obviously it was available for breeding. Even (Orchid Fever) doesn't explain this well. What's the deal?
 

littlefrog

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I don't know... One thing (for me at least) is that the seedlings don't establish well out of flask, and seem to spend several years just sort of sitting there before they actually grow. I've not bloomed one yet, but I have some that are at least 8 years old, and I think this might be typical. I think this leads to increased mortality (more time to kill them). Fewer plants make it to blooming size = more bucks for the ones that do and not as many offered.

I keep hoping that the newer sanderianums (like Orchid Inn's latest crosses) will be easier growers. So far I have four seedlings remaining out of my flask, and they seem to be just sitting there, so perhaps I got a bad roll of the dice.
 

Heather

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I agree with Rob's take on this. I've had a couple that just sat there and languished and finally croaked. Both were older crosses (such as Jungle Monarch x Jungle Warrior). I have two newer crosses, on of which is Bruno Manser x Penanko, and it is growing almost rapidly compared to the others. I also have a seedling of sanderianum x gigantifolium that is downright quick! Luckily for me I guess, I don't really adore sanderianum, actually I prefer it's hybrids.

I think they are just interminably slow growing plants, a little finicky, and consequently, many simply don't make it to blooming size.
 

smartie2000

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zephyrus orchids will sell a division of Sanderianum 'Rapunzel' AM/AOS crowned World's Largest Orchid Flower by the Guinness Book of World Records for $19999CAD. It had 5 flowers with 29 feet of petals at the time of the record, but he claims it is blooming even larger now. A bit costly....
 

smartie2000

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Heather said:
I don't really adore sanderianum, actually I prefer it's hybrids.

I think they are just interminably slow growing plants, a little finicky, and consequently, many simply don't make it to blooming size.
I agree its hybrids are much prettier. My MK is grow sooooooooooo slow!
 

Kyle

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I think its for the whole spike. Each petal is ~3 feet X 10 petals = about 29 feet.

Kyle
 

Jon in SW Ohio

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Sam at Orchid Inn had two in spike/blooming sanderianums at a show I was at a couple years ago for sale. I think most vendors don't list them for sale because most people don't want to spend that much on one plant when you can buy a seedling for a fraction of the cost.

If you had the cash in hand and were serious about buying one, I guarantee you could find at least a few vendors with one to sell you.

Jon
 

Wendy

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Mmmmm...sanderianum....my favourite.:drool: I have two seedlings right (10-12" LS) now and while they are both slow growers they do definitely show improvement month by month. I have another seedling on order that is the same cross as Heather's. Hopefully one day i will actually see them bloom.

Paphman 910 grows some nice seedlings as well. (One of mine is from him)
 

wilbeck

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I have a seedling with the longest leaf about 15cm. It is definitely growing because the newest leaf has been getting larger. I bought it at Windy Hill Gardens about two months ago. It appears a bit pallid, but then it did when I bought it. Marilyn said it would be five years or more to blooming.
 

kentuckiense

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Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan sanderianum is a pain. My seedling was growing awesomely in the summer heat but then slowly ground to a halt as it got colder. Basically the exact opposite of my besseae.
 

Leo Schordje

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NY Eric,
There are several reasons why there are few or no blooming size sanderianums available. One is that the seed is VERY slow to germinate. I was looking at mother flasks the other day, some mothers were just beginning to germinate after 3 years. So this is a real setback if you are in a hurry.

Second, they grow a but slower than a rothschildianum, about the same speed as a Paph stonei. This means that under ideal conditions (Hawaii) you are looking at 5 or 6 years to blooming, under the conditions mere mortals can provide, you are looking at 10 to 12 years from flask to first bloom. They are simply slow growers. There are a few sanderianums in 4 inch and 6 inch pots coming out of Hawaii wholesalers, but only a few.

Blooming plants are expensive because if a greenhouse has to charge $10 per year just to cover a 4 inch pot's cost of heat and watering, then a 10 year old plant has a minimum break even cost $100 without including aquisition cost, repotting cost, or even a little profit for beer money. (see Jon, one CAN work beer into any plant discussion)

I have a NBS sanderianum available, go to my vendor area for details.
 

Rick

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I think there may be more blooming size plants out there than most of us are aware of, and they are just not for sale. I know of some in TN that have been blooming for several years, and may not being bredas far as I know.

I may be screwed up on this, but it seems that just 5 years ago there was still alot of concern about seedlings available from legally imported plants, and allot of adult stock was being stashed to avoid confiscation.

They were not common or easily accesable so very few made it out of Borneo after "rediscovery" in the eighties or nineties, and I think allot of plants took years to adapt to greenhouse conditions.

Subsequently, the widerspread market is just now seeing 1st generation seedlings in many cases, and the oldest of them from 5 or so years ago are just getting big enough to bloom.
 

Rick Barry

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Some growers claim that Paphiopedilum sanderianum isn't that difficult to grow, but the relative dearth of cultivated plants at shows as well as private collections seems to indicate otherwise. I have seen many offerings of seedlings but I rarely see flowering plants. Some of the best known cultivars languish even now in the hands of some of the most respected of Paph growers.
Especially for the more difficult orchid species, plants are best grown under conditions approximating those the plants would normally encounter in the wild. The conditions I refer to are all-inclusive and include such factors as temperature, humidity and position (with respect to the sun as well as to air flow), and the composition of the substrate as well. Some species are more tolerant of variability of conditions than others, and species of very limited distribution both geographically and climatically can be very intolerant to changes.
It is my understanding that P. sanderianum can be very finicky in some respects. First blooming seedlings often die shortly after flowering. I have been told that the first spike should be removed shortly after the last flower has opened, to conserve energy for new growth.
I won't specify cultural requirements here, as any good book on Paphs should provide all the information needed for the cultivation of sanderianum. As any comprehensive reference will indicate, its native climate is relatively stable throughout the year, varying mostly in rainfall totals (ranging from moderate in 'dry' months to monsoonal in the 'wet' season) and prevailing wind direction. Temperatures remain the same throughout the year, with average highs of around 83 degrees F and lows around 70 degrees, indicating a fairly tight diurnal range. While growers can usually meet the watering requirements, the temperature requirements can be expensive to maintain. Keeping any greenhouse (or even a home) in a northern climate within the proper range can require a considerable amount of energy for heating as well as cooling.
As is true for many species orchids, Paph sanderianum can also be intolerant of root disruption, and repotting should be minimized in frequency. For the same reason don't divide your plant unless it falls apart of it's own volition, which in itself may be a really bad sign in a young (less than 15-20 years) plant. Similarly, be very careful in purchasing divisions of sanderianum, being aware that you are acquiring a plant that may well be recovering from a relatively massive trauma.
Assume that this plant reqires consistency above all else. Consistancy can be maintained by choosing its proper location in the growing area and leaving it there permanently. Resist the urge to move or rotate the plant to achieve better or faster growth. If you have to move the plant for any reason, mark its orientation on the shelf so you can replace it in the same position.
Stability. That's the key, and it's not so easy to achieve.
 

NYEric

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Rick, et al. First, this was merely an academic exercise. I don't think I will soon purchase a Paph sanderanium because I'm not that good a grower of Paphs and I think that they are a resource that shouldn't be toyed with. Second, you mention the composition of the substrate, I've often wondered about the value that having the native soil a species developed from has. One would think that there are minerals, plant materials, and even micro-organisms in the native soil that the species have evolved with that should be used to grow the plants in. I wish I could get native soil to put w/ my plants to see if this would be a factor. Your thoughts? :confused:
 

smartie2000

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Great info! oops I unpotted my paph MK like twice to make sure it was doing ok since it was doing nothing and I moved it from window to fluorescent lights. It took a year to grow half a leaf finally.... Its a mature since growth, mostly likely a division, but I don't see where the plant was disconnected, maybe its not a division?...another eBay plant where the actual plant sent was not pictured
 

Rick

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NYEric said:
Rick, et al. First, this was merely an academic exercise. I don't think I will soon purchase a Paph sanderanium because I'm not that good a grower of Paphs and I think that they are a resource that shouldn't be toyed with. Second, you mention the composition of the substrate, I've often wondered about the value that having the native soil a species developed from has. One would think that there are minerals, plant materials, and even micro-organisms in the native soil that the species have evolved with that should be used to grow the plants in. I wish I could get native soil to put w/ my plants to see if this would be a factor. Your thoughts? :confused:
Some of Rick Barry's points really wrang a bell for me, especially about consistancy to the point of keeping them in the same place. I have purchased a total of 5 sanderianum seedlings since 2001 and have lost 2. The oldest is now >14" LS and is growing at a fairly good rate compared to other multis in my collection.
I experimented a fair amount with the first two (one is dead, the other is the big one doing well) before I got a combination of culture parameters and a special spot that they seem to be happy with. 2 of the three recently purchased seedlings seem to be responding to this total package, and growing at a very good rate.

I think the issue of native soil is much more important to adult imports than for captive raised seedlings, but only for what we can learn about what they like in the wild. Many paphs live in "pseudo-soils" such as humus accumulations that break down and otherwise change very quickly, so after recieving a portion of it, I suspect it will not be retained in a condition favourable for growing very long. We might get a good dose of the appropriate microorganisms, but I doubt if we could maintian a reasonable approximation of the micro eco environment for very long. So ultimately we need to come up with surogates that work with the environment that we can provide for these plants. It doesn't have to be trial by error, which is why I often talk about the environment (chemical and all) produced by a certain potting mix, and trying to relate it back to the natural geology and soil type the wild plants are found in.

Also from some of the pictures and descriptions I've come across, sanderianum may be attached directly to limestone rock with virtually no "soil" accumulation around the plant at all. So in the cases of lithophytic plants its probably not going to happen that we can get chunks of rock shipped to us from the native habitat.

As a special note on sanderianum. I will agree that they have the finest and most delicate brittle roots of any paph seedling I've come across, and frequent repotting is a risky business. My larger plant has pretty normal roots for multis, but I don't think I started to see the bigger roots till it cleared 10-12".
 
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